James Rus­sell

El­e­ment ed­i­tor

Element - - Contents -

The cheeky so and sos of youth cli­mate change group Gen­er­a­tion Zero rocked up to the of­fices of 13 Na­tional MPs prior to Christ­mas with a gift-wrapped piece of coal, along with the mes­sage that Na­tional has ‘been naughty on cli­mate change’ and a Christ­mas card sport­ing the at­ti­tude-laden Gen Zero tagline: ‘For a fu­ture that’s not sh*t’.

Young lib­eral ide­al­ists clash­ing with jaded right-wing politi­cians is noth­ing new but, let’s face it, his­tory shows they’re usu­ally right (equal rights for women, the vote, gay rights, the Spring­bok tour, nu­clear-free NZ etc).

Usu­ally th­ese vic­to­ries take time, and plenty of it, but in this case there’s none to spare.

Cli­mate change min­is­ter Tim Groser may have missed out on his lump of coal as he was in Lima for the UN Cli­mate Con­fer­ence at the time. Whether or not he was red-faced at the news that New Zealand was ranked 43rd in the re­cent Cli­mate Change Per­for­mance In­dex we’ll never know, but it’s cer­tainly another dirty smudge on the bur­nish of our pure rep­u­ta­tion.

With so much rest­ing on the decision in Paris this com­ing year, let’s hope Mr Key, gaz­ing pen­sively out across Omaha Bay th­ese hol­i­days, de­cides that our lit­tle coun­try, and our big planet, are worth pre­serv­ing, and or­ders Mr Groser to come up with some­thing a lit­tle more ro­bust than a non-bind­ing, five per cent re­duc­tion in emis­sions, and an ac­tual plan on how it can be achieved. Let’s hope 2015 is an his­toric year for the planet. Happy new year!

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